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Thursday, February 04, 2010

PPP President: 'Political Damage For Democrats On Healthcare Has Been Done'

Public Policy Polling polls on healthcare and the midterm elections (PDF file) and finds that generically Republicans hold the lead on Democrats and Independents favor Republicans by a double digit lead, and the numbers continue to favor Republicans whether Obamacare is passed or not.

Republicans lead on the generic ballot 43-40. They’re more unified, with 86% of their
voters committed to supporting the party compared to 80% of Democrats. They also have a double digit advantage with independents, 40-27.

When respondents were asked how they would vote for Congress if the Democrats did not pass their health care plan the GOP level of support remained at 43%, with Democrats dropping to 38%. That’s because only 76% of Democrats say they’ll vote for their party without health care. These numbers suggest the GOP will get the same level of support whether the bill passes or not.

Finally respondents were asked how they would vote if Democrats did pass their health
care plan. In that instance the GOP leads 45-41, with more undecideds making up their

Barack Obama’s net approval rating is at -1, identical to a PPP survey two weeks ago. 48% of voters like the job he’s doing to 49% who disapprove.

“At this point it looks like the political damage for Democrats on health care has been done whether they end up passing the bill or not,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Republican support for this fall is identical with or without it.”

The Politico reports on the PPP poll but does not provide the link to the PDF file, so I added it above.

Yesterday we linked to Real Clear Politics, who takes the latest polling data from a variety of different polling organizations and finds that 54.4 percent of the public is opposed to the Democrats and Obama's Healthcare bills.

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl, CNN/Opinion Research, NPR - POS/GQR, Rasmussen Reports and USA Today/Gallup.

Opposition continues to rise, yet despite public opposition and the fact that projections show Democrats losing their proverbial butts in November, Democrats are still fighting to not only go against the will of the people and pass anything if they can name it healthcare, but they are also fighting to protect those backroom deals that soured Americans on these bills originally.

The health care bill is in trouble, but a series of narrow deals — each designed to win over a wavering senator or key interest group — is alive and well, despite voter anger over the parochial horse-trading that marked the rush toward passage before Christmas.

One has to wonder if the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate understand that there are months and months to go before November and the polling forgires keep getting worse and worse for them

Luckily the vulnerable Democrats in the House and Senate are watching and seeing exactly how steep the cliff is that the leaders of their party is asking them to jump off of.

It isn't only Obamacare that Democrats up for reelection this year are trying to distance themselves from, it is Obama himself, or more to the point, his agenda.

The latest evidence of that is how Democrats are now using his budget proposal to campaign "against".

As Congress begins picking through President Obama's vast election year budget, many Democratic incumbents and candidates seem to be finding something they love — to campaign against.

A Democratic Senate candidate in Missouri denounced the budget's sky-high deficit. A Florida Democrat whose district includes the Kennedy Space Center hit the roof over NASA budget cuts. And an endangered Senate Democrat denounced proposed cuts in farm subsidies.

A headline on the 2010 campaign website of Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), blares her opposition to Obama's farm budget: ``Blanche stands up for Arkansas farm families,'' it says.

Heading into an election season in which Republicans are trying to tie Democrats to Obama's unpopular policies, Obama's budget gives his fellow Democrats an unlikely campaign tool — a catalogue of ways to establish their distance from controversial aspects of his administration.

The article basically admits it is all a dog and pony show:

It is a time-tested campaign tactic for politicians to declare their independence of party leaders. But the tactic is particularly important for Democrats this year, because their party dominates Washington, and being an insider is a political liability in an anti-incumbent climate.

Underscoring that dynamic, Obama held a question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats on Wednesday, drawing polite challenges from a procession of incumbents up for reelection.

The Hill confirms the "show":

Senate Democrats held back from asking President Barack Obama about healthcare reform during a carefully scripted question-and-answer session in front of television cameras.

Do Democrats really think the American public is that stupid?

Something to ponder.... will the GOP take Obama's home state Senate seat, Illinois?

Democrats are a tad worried they just might.